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New to me. 1970 750 Roadster

Classic Norton Commando Motorcycles.

New to me. 1970 750 Roadster

Postby 72westie » Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:07 am

2 weeks ago I had a friend send me an e-mail that just said "I thought you might be interested in this" and sent me a link to a craigslist ad featuring a 1970 Norton Commando Chopper. Needless to say, I e-mailed the owner of the bike and said if he had a clear title, I would take it. This was at about 7pm on Tuesday. I got an e-mail back early Wednesday am just saying, "Yes I have a title. Call me in the morning" The morning couldn't come quick enough for me. I finally called him around 7:45am and discussed the bike. He was the second owner from new, he purchased it in '74 from the original owner. Someone had e-mailed him, offer more then the asking price, so I had to step up to his offer if I wanted it. I told him I am on my way. He was about 2 hours away, so I was hoping I could get down there quick enough before someone else snatched it out from under me. (I had this happen on another deal, 5 minutes too late. Grr...) I blasted to our shop and grabbed the shop truck and a handful of cash and blasted down to Mansfield area.

I called the owner about 3 times on the way down, just letting him know I was on my way and where I was at. When I was going down State Route 30 and my GPS said to get off onto 314 south, I was a little surprised. I got to the guys house, which was only 4 miles from Mid-Ohio. How the bike never made it to the Mid Ohio Vintage Days Swap Meet, I will never know. I pulled into his drive and there she was, in all her Chopper glory. I talked to the guy and he said it ran 2 years ago. I didn't even kick it through. I checked the numbers and said lets load her up! I back up to his garage and we loaded her up. I asked him if he remembered what the color was when he purchased it, he said it was this weird Purple with big metal flake and said there is know way that was a stock paint job. He had it repainted years ago and the paint still is nice.

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I blasted home and went back to work. I finally got to work on it a couple of days later. First thing first, new fork tubes and seals were ordered. Backrest came off pretty quick as did the custom struts. Clubman bars replace the narrow ape hangers. I also pulled the carbs apart and soaked them and rebuilt them. I realized then that I had yet to even kick it over to see if I had compression or if the motor was stuck. I threw a leg over her and crossed my fingers and gave a swift kit, kicked through and felt like good compression. I pulled off the points cover and checked for power and checked gap and everything was good. I pulled the plugs and kicked it over, we have spark!!

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My first parts order got in Friday and I got the forks returned to stock on Saturday. I came back up on Sunday and got the front brake cleaned up and threw on a old used race tire I had from my Royal Enfield Roadrace bike. I got the clutch cable replaced and adjusted and called it a day. I had some free time yesterday and got the front brake cable hooked back up and made sure the front brake was working. I decided to try and see if she would fire up. I should've just drained the crankcase from the start but I decided to do that after I kicked her maybe 15 or 20 times. She would almost fire but wouldn't catch. I ran to NAPA and got some cheap oil as I just planned on draining it out once I got it warm. I poured in a quart and tickled the carb and VROOM she fired right up. Man did she sound good with just those head pipes on. After she was warm, I shut her down and drained the case and oil tank, cleaned the screens and reinstalled the drain plugs and filled her up with Spectro oil.

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Next on the agenda is to get the tank lined and got a headlight assembly (already working on the one). I have a few questions about the wiring and other things, but I gotta get back to work now.
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Re: New to me. 1970 750 Roadster

Postby pelican » Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:25 am

cool, glad you beat the other guy out I bet?

btw you should call the seller and tell him big purple metalflake was an original color :lol: :lol:
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Re: New to me. 1970 750 Roadster

Postby swooshdave » Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:38 am

Sweet. Nice save!
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Re: New to me. 1970 750 Roadster

Postby Norton-Villier » Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:17 am

You unchopped that Norton, I love you man.

Phil
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Re: New to me. 1970 750 Roadster

Postby gtsun » Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:22 am

I'm pretty sure saving a Norton from a bad chopper job is on the list of things that sainthood is given for.
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Re: New to me. 1970 750 Roadster

Postby steveyacht » Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:35 am

gtsun wrote:I'm pretty sure saving a Norton from a bad chopper job is on the list of things that sainthood is given for.



First Save is route to a cannonization, have to save at least 5 for Saint Hood.............. It's in the Directions!

Great JOB, best of luck
Steve
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Re: New to me. 1970 750 Roadster

Postby bwolfie » Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:09 am

Glad to see another one on the way back to life. I just rescued a 72 combat street raceer on saturday. I should have it road worthy in the next week, then just waiting for the title to arrive. Mine sat since 83 with an empty gas tank and a quart of oil in the sump, stored in a garage. It has spark and compression, should run.
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Re: New to me. 1970 750 Roadster

Postby DogT » Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:22 am

That's in very good shape for a 70. Does the rear fender have the indent in it for the tyre pump? Did you get the original front fender with it? I see you've got the central oil tank which was on the 69/70 models. That means you have the timed breather off the left side of the crank. I'd like to know if you leak oil out of that hole in the center front of the oil tank when you get it going. Are those original rims?

Nice find, another one saved. I'd love to see it Fireflake Purple again.

Dave
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Re: New to me. 1970 750 Roadster

Postby Bobolink » Tue Jun 21, 2011 11:58 am

Just get out & enjoy it! I am absolutely certain that the situation you are now in is the envy of (almost) every member of this forum! Sure, there are many things that you could do to "improve!" your bike but USE IT FIRST to find out what YOU want.

Enjoy

Bob.

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Re: New to me. 1970 750 Roadster

Postby 72westie » Tue Jun 21, 2011 12:21 pm

Thanks for all the nice comments. I am trying to make it look right again. I am dealing with a forum member on the stock front halo headlight assembly, that's the main thing I need right now. I just mounted the front fender that I got with the bike last night, is that not the stock front fender? It mounted up fine and cleared the tire with a little adjusting. I will take a look at the rear fender to see if it has the indent, any chance you have a picture so I know what to look for?

The front rim is a Dunlop rim, I haven't checked the back yet, but I think its a Dunlop also. I am pretty sure it will return to the purple this winter, right now I just want to ride her! I ordered some mufflers and a rear tire today. Gotta get my throttle cables and choke cables installed and mount the air filter. Ducon switch and a little cleaning of the wiring is also on the list.
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Re: New to me. 1970 750 Roadster

Postby DonOR » Tue Jun 21, 2011 12:50 pm

Norton-Villier wrote:You unchopped that Norton, I love you man.

Phil


dude, you are a true American hero. well done, keep up the good work, and of all things, shop around. cheers, Don
98% of all Harleys ever sold are still on the road. The other 2% made it home.

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Re: New to me. 1970 750 Roadster

Postby cjandme » Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:30 pm

Righteous!!
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Re: New to me. 1970 750 Roadster

Postby DogT » Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:41 pm

If that front fender measures like this, you have the original 69/70 fender. From 71 on, the stays and bridge were longer by about an inch.

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If the rim is marked 'Dunlop' and 'Made in England' like this it's probably an original rim.

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I don't have a good picture showing the notch in the rear fender, but it looks like a dent in the right side, just in front of the rear lamp faring, by the little protrusion on the rear frame loop that holds the tyre pump.

Have fun with it, if it runs right, it'll pull your earlobes off.

What's the serial number, is there a date/number plate on the front of the headstock? Do the motor/gearbox numbers match?

Look at the 1/2" bolt on the left side isolation stud, at the top of the Z plate, does it have a flat spot sort of on the edge on it?

Dave
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Re: New to me. 1970 750 Roadster

Postby DogT » Tue Jun 21, 2011 1:44 pm

Oh, yes, I have the 69/70 S and Roadster handbook here, I think it's good enough to print out.

http://s251.photobucket.com/albums/gg28 ... 0Handbook/

That'll give you some basic maintenance info.

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Re: New to me. 1970 750 Roadster

Postby 72westie » Tue Jun 21, 2011 2:56 pm

I checked the rims, the front is stamped Dunlop Made in England. The rear has some rust on it that I need to clean up. I will clean it up when I change out the tire in the next day or so. I will double check the rear fender, I saw a dent on the right side, but I just think its a dent. I will double check the numbers. There is a frame tag still attached. I will measure the front fender tomorrow also.

Thanks for the link on the Handbook, but I guess I lucked out when the guy handed me the original one to the bike :shock:

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I do have a question on how the left side cover mounts to the frame. They way it was mounted when I removed it seemed kind of set-up. It was a long bolt through the hole from the front side, a oversized nut and washer on the back side of the frame, then the cover followed by a nut hooking it to the bolt. I ordered a Dzus fastener for it, but it is too big for the frame hole and the side cover is missing the clip to mount it in. Whats the correct way to mount the left side?

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